Google Doodle Celebrates India’s Independence Day…

Illustration on Google India shows Gandhi leading the Dandi March of 1930

In honor of the 69th Anniversary of India’s Independence on Aug. 15,Google India’s Doodle features Mahatma Gandhi leading the Dandi March of 1930.

India Independence Day 2015

The scene depicts a significant moment in India’s push for freedom from the rule of the British Raj and the beginning of the Civil Disobedience Movement. Seventy-eight Congress volunteers participated in the 240-mile march in protest of unfair salt laws.

Leon Hong illustrated the Doodle for Google users in India as they celebrate the Indian Independence Act of 1947 on Saturday.


Source…Julia Zorthian


” When a Problem Arises , Become the Captain of the Problem and Defeat it…” Dr. A P J Abdul Kalam

From the Archives of …. This   Article dates back to 6 NOV 2014….

Once, during his Presidency, President A P J Abdul Kalam received a letter from a student shocked with his class 12th mark-sheet.

He had secured 10 per cent in Maths and Physics, whereas throughout his school career, he had always scored 90 per cent and above.

In utter dismay, he wrote to the President of India, asking for his help.

President Kalam referred his case to the authorities and two weeks later got a reply that indeed there was a mistake in the evaluation and a rectification had been done.

APJ Abdul Kalam

In the last 15 years, President Kalam — arguably India’s most popular President and among the founders of the country’s space programme — has interacted with 18 million young Indians, face-to-face, through e-mail and over Facebook.

He receives 300 e-mails everyday.

Some of these letters have been turned into his latest book Forge Your Future, which provides an insight into the issues which concern and engage the minds of young Indians today. President Kalam’s replies are based on his personal experiences, his reading and his interactions with political and spiritual leaders.

The title of the book was selected after an online public vote.

In his quiet bungalow in Lutyens’ Delhi, President Kalam speaks to Archana Masih/ about India becoming a developed country by 2020-2022, the heroes he admires, how 90 per cent of India’s space programme is intended for the people and the individual’s potential to become unique.

Photographs: Rajesh Karkera/

Dr Kalam, please can you tell me a little about your daily schedule? What’s it like 

The garden here has a 107-year old tree. Edwin Lutyens himself built and stayed in this house — so he maybe somewhere here (laughs).

His relatives had come to see this building.

The 107-year-old tree is beautiful. Parrots and various other birds live at the top and at the bottom live peacocks. Every year there are baby peacocks. I have a very bioactive tree.

I walk for 1 hour and 15 minutes every day. I spend time in my library.

In a month, I spend 15 days travelling in India. For ten days in a year, I go abroad. I am an honorary professor at the University of Beijing.

Every month, I meet a minimum of 100,000 young people. A million people in a year. So far I have met 18 million young people below the age of 25 in my country.

You get 300 e-mails everyday and spend two hours answering them. When did this process begin? When did you start actively engaging with young people?

It all started when I wrote Wings of Fire, in which I conveyed my life, how I had lived it, how I got myself educated, how I started meeting youth…

I was also teaching at Anna University at that time. After my work as scientific advisor, then projector director SLV 3, programme director AGNI — after all that I went in 2001 to Anna University as a professor.

I also get some handwritten letters. I consider them very important and I love to reply to them because they come from people from the grassroots who do not have access to the Internet. They come with unique questions and I have to give unique answers.

APJ Abdul Kalam

You mention what President Mandela told you about courage in your book — who are some of the most inspiring world leaders you have met?

Two world leaders exclusively come to my mind — Mahatma Gandhi and his unique life. Similarly, Nelson Mandela. I went to the prison where Mandela lived.

Where there is righteousness in the heart, there is beauty in the character. That’s the example of Mahatma Gandhi throughout his life.

In 2006, I travelled in the same kind of train with a steam engine from Durban to Pietermaritzburg. I could imagine the courage which Gandhiji showed in that cold winter.

Ahimsa dharma came after the battle of Kalinga. It transformed King Ashoka. The second time ahimsa dharma was put into action was by Mahatma Gandhi at Pietermaritzburg.

This book gives three messages. First: You can become a unique personality. Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela were unique.

The other important thing about this book is about continuously acquiring knowledge. Thirdly, when the problem arises — become the captain of the problem and defeat it.

You envisioned a growth plan for India called Vision 2020. How close are we to achieving that vision, in view of that deadline being six years away?

Actually India 2020 is a vision for an economically developed India by 2020. Up to 2008 our GDP was 8 to 9 per cent. Then there was a problem across the Atlantic Ocean, and our GDP crashed to 6 to 7 per cent, then to 5.5 and then to 5 per cent.

So in the 2008-2014 period, we had a slack in our development programme.

Six years is a long period in a nation like India with 600 million youth, nowhere in the democratic world there exists this strength.

We also have a natural way of life. Our agriculture is doing well. We have 250 to 260 million tons of food. Our IT, small scale and pharma industries are doing very well.

Of course, we have to do lots in the development of the rural area. We have 600,000 villages where 700 million people live. We have to Provide Urban Amenities to Rural Areas (PURA). Seven thousand PURAS are needed to lift 600,000 villages.

Even now it is not too late. Fortunately, I understand the present government is taking a priority for PURAS. If they push it along with small scale industry and smart waterways, then definitely 2020 — plus or minus 2 years — we can get there.

So you are confident by 2022, that we may be able to do it?

We can do it, provided we have a national vision.

Do we have that national vision?

From 1930 to 1947, we wanted Freedom. Our caste system vanished, our religions vanished, our differences vanished and we were fighting only for Independence. I call that the first mission that India had.

The second vision: Economic development. If you work like that and declare that mission in Parliament and people and government work for it, irrespective of whichever party they belong to, it is possible. Because our resources are youth power and our natural resources.

The Book Cover

Image: President Kalam’s latest book Forge Your Future

In your book, you say ‘The orientation must turn from the past to the future and focus on how India can become a developed nation. The real issue is that we are not to see ourselves as a nation and because of that there is no national vision.’

Why do you think we have not been able to see ourselves as a nation?

When we see the types of conflicts all around — religious conflict, caste system, language problems — any big nation will have such types of problems but the nation can be united for a big cause.

Independence was a big cause that united us. That’s why I am pushing this idea that the tool for India Vision 2020 is Providing Urban Amenities to Rural Areas. This way we can enhance village development. I have talked about all this in my book.

Independence was a common goal that united people, but some would say that India today is more divided than what it was then.

Any nation goes through a number of problems in various decades, but India has the experience of bringing together people on a big cause.

I am a believer.

The second great movement that India needs is India 2020 Vision and this will make people come together. Plus if the economic programme grows, the poverty level will come down.

Only a national vision can lift 300 million — that’s one third of the population — below the poverty line out of poverty.

As one of the co-founders of India’s space programme, you must be very proud of our Mars achievement. But at the same time when you say that we have to lift the large masses that remain poor, should not basic needs like healthcare, education, infrastructure precede loftier goals or at least go hand in hand?

The space programme is targeted at uplifting the people. In geosynchronised orbit, more than 200 transponders are communicating to the Indian earth station.

These transponders transmit communication, weather reports, 24 hour TV broadcast, the path of cyclones.

All the recent major cyclones have been forecast by various satellites. 90 per cent of the space programme is for remote sensing and communication. You can remote sense what is the kind of wealth we have on earth like water, minerals etc — so it is intended for the people. 90 per cent of the space programme is intended for the people. It is a people’s programme.

You asked about the Moon and Mars programme. We are spending less than 10 per cent of our space programme for finding and research on Moon and Mars so that we are partners in the research and no one can claim that it belongs to them. I don’t want to see Moon and Mars as the property of some other nation. It should be international property.

Ours is the lowest cost of going to the Moon or Mars and we found trace of water also on the moon. From Mars we don’t know… some revolutionary ideas will come from our Mars programme.

What kind of a leader was Vikram Sarabhai, the founder of India’s Space programme?

When you read this book Forge Your Future, you will know how to become a unique person. It contains the experience of great thinkers and doers. Dr Vikram Sarabhai was a unique personality.

He was a visionary. In 1970 he gave a report about what the nation’s space programme should be for the next 20 years.

What according to you are India’s greatest strengths?

One is our farmer community. Whatever weather condition, whatever shortfall — they will give us 200 million tones of food.

Hats off to our farmers and our agriculture scientists!

Second is youth power. No other democratic nation has 600 million youth. The ignited mind of the youth is the most powerful resource — on the earth, above the earth, under the earth — and we have that.

Third, just like every family asks the government for an economically developed nation; every family has the responsibility to give a great citizen to the nation.

We have 200 million families. Parents have the responsibility to make their children righteous — where there is righteousness in the heart, there is beauty in the character.

Only three people can give a good citizen before s/he turns 17. Father, mother, the spiritual environment and the primary school teacher.

You mention women like Marie Curie and Sister Antonia as role models. Who are some contemporary Indian women role models you admire?

I have great respect for Dr V Shanta, for her contribution towards cancer diagnosis, treatment and teaching how to avoid cancer. I admire the mission of Ela Bhatt, founder of the Self-Employed Women’s Association of India and, of course my favourite, whom I respect because I like Carnatic music — M S Subbulakshmi. I love her music.

When she was alive, I used to go to her music festival.

President A P J Abdul Kalam

You say in the book that India needs to cast off its inferiority complex vis-a-vis China and work towards coming together to become a master civilisation because together they constitute 37% of the world’s population.

How can this be achieved in the background of the tension, hostility and border incursions?

I remember in April 2007, I addressed the European Parliament. There were around 800 parliament members from 23 nations.

I told them when I see you all — for hundreds of years you were fighting each other and you generated two World Wars, so a billion Indian people congratulate you. Forgetting all your wars, forgetting the difference of society, you formed a European Union for prosperity and peace.

This should be an example. I had composed a poem and recited it there. They gave a standing ovation.

That is not the issue, the issue is that such nations that created World War I and II, when they came together, we — China and India — are a people of great civilisation, in spite of all the differences, there are some great philosophy that is common.

Buddha and Confucius are common to us.

I believe we have to have a great mission. I suggested when the Chinese president came here that we have a World Knowledge Platform. I teach at the University of Beijing, I told them the time has come that both nations should combine our core competence, our 60 billion dollar business, should become 250 billion dollars.

The border issue we should sort out once for all. People of the European Union fought for hundreds of years, a people who generated two World Wars and Hitler and lost millions of people are a union today for economic growth and peace and it happened in front of our eyes.

So for me the differences between nations can be solved by mutual discussions.

Both sides should decide what we can give and what we cannot. It should be an intensive one month discussion with experts and we should sort it out. I hope the present governments in India and China will do that.

What are your thoughts on the present government?

We are getting into politics, next question!

I just asked your thoughts…

Any elected government will perform in five years. We have to give time.

You believe social media affected the results in 30 to 40 per cent Lok Sabha constituencies. How will social media and the Internet affect future elections?

Social media and the type of information flow should have credibility. It reaches fast. It connects people. It is one of the important mediums for putting forth ideas, thoughts and discussing problems.

In India, we also need contact on the ground, but in the future I see that you can sit in your home with a biometric signature and security approved and you can vote. That way you will have 100 per cent voting. It is a long way off, but I visualise it.

Selection of the candidates will also follow an electronic process — to determine if s/he is a good or bad candidate, how many cases s/he has etc. This will happen, it is only a question of time.

Archana Masih/ in New Delhi 

Source….From The Archives of


Charles Correa… India’s Greatest Architect…

Over the centuries, a sense of the sky has affected profoundly our relationship to builtform. This is why in Asia, the symbol of education has never been the Little Red Schoolhouse of North America, but the guru sitting under the tree. – Charles Correa

One of India’s greatest contemporary architects, Charles Correa passed away at 11.45pm on Tuesday in Mumbai at the age of 84. He has made some remarkable contribution in the field of architecture post independence, and has been an influential urban planner and activist. But there are so many people who don’t know about him and his career. Hence, here are few points you need to know about Charles Correa.

1. He was an alumni of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)


Charles Correa completed his schooling in Mumbai from St. Xavier’s College, University of Bombay with science stream. After that he did his Bachelors in Architecture from University of Michigan and masters form the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

2. He has won over 10 national and international awards including Padma Vibhushan, the second highest civilian honour


His talent and hard work had won him many laurels and prestigious titles. Some of them are Padma Vibhushan, Padma Shri, Chicago Architecture Award, The Premium Imperial from Japan Society of Arts, gold medal by Royal Institutes of British Architects etc.


3. He was the chief architect of Navi Mumbai


The new city which was built across the harbour is now an urban growth center of 2 million people in extended part of Mumbai with superb planning and architecture. Correa is responsible for the entire layout and meticulous planning of the entire region which is now one of the most expensive real estates in the country. It’s is a beautiful city and he designed it.


4. He was always considerate to the needs of the urban poor and came up with a lot of low cost housing designs like ‘Tube House’


The “tube” house was first prize winner in an All-India competition for low-cost housing organised by the Gujarat Housing Board. These row-houses provided the same density -and larger living space per family. The area is formed so that the hot air rises and getaways structure at top, setting up a convection streams of characteristic ventilation. Inside the units there are no entryways; security being made by the different levels themselves, and security by the pergola-network over the inward patio. A narrow house form designed to conserve energy!

5. He was the first chairman of National Commission of Urbanization



His work was noted for his use of traditional techniques in his designs. In 1985, Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi appointed him as the Chairman of the commission.

6. He believed in sustainable source of development and cared for the environment


In 1984, he founded the Urban Design Research Institute in Bombay, dedicated to the protection of the built environment and improvement of urban communities. In the course of the most recent four decades, Correa has done spearheading work in urban issues and minimal cost shelter in the Third World.

7. He was pro ‘open to sky spaces’


He utilized the significance of open-to-sky spaces to exploit the hotter atmosphere outsider toward the west. His utilization of the chhatri, or overhead covering, makes negligible safe house from the sun in the most blazing piece of the day, while permitting clients to appreciate being under the open sky.

The utilization of this component is found in his most praised early work, the Gandhi Smarak Sangrahalaya, a remembrance exhibition hall to Mahatma Gandhi in the Sabarmati Ashram in Ahmedabad that was finished in 1963. A measured building made up of 6 x 6 meter units, the modules are masterminded to exchange between those that are shut off by pyramidal rooftops and those that are interested in the sky. Without glass, the units are characterized by dividers and open spaces, making sections between them to lead starting with one presentation space then onto the next. The materials are those of the encompassing structures of the ashram: block dividers, stone floors and tiled rooftops. The spaces are gathered around a focal water court to cool the structures in the bone-dry warmth.

8. He was given the title of ‘India’s Greatest Architect’


Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) billed him as “India’s greatest architect” when it mounted an exhibition on him in 2013.

9. Some of his Indian designs


Mahatma Gandhi Memorial at the Sabarmati Ashram, Jawahar Kala Kendra in Jaipur, British Council in Delhi, Kanchenjunga Apartments in Mumbai, Bharat Bhavan in Bhopal, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Stadium in Ahmedabad, Salt Lake City in Kolkata are few of his many spectacular creations.

10. Some of his international designs


The Champalimaud Centre in Lisbon, Aga Khan Museum in Toronto etc. are few legendary buildings he has designed.

India lost a valuable gem. May his soul rest in peace.



Many of us Do not Know these Facts about Mahatma Gandhi….

We all know Mahatma Gandhi as the man who led our country to freedom. But we know little about some smaller and more astonishing facts about his life. The following are 16 facts about Mahatma Gandhi that are mostly unknown:

1. Mahatma Gandhi was nominated for the Nobel Peace prize 5 times

Image source

The committee regrets not giving him the Nobel Peace prize to this day as the award is never given posthumously. (Source)


2. M. K. Gandhi was responsible for the Civil Rights movement in 4 continents and 12 countries

Image source


3. The funeral procession of Mahatma Gandhi was 8 kilometers long

Image source



4. Great Britain, the country against whom he fought for independence, released a stamp honouring him, 21 years after his death

Image source


5. Mahatma Gandhi walked/traveled almost 18 kilometers a day throughout his lifetime which is enough to walk around the world twice over

Image source


6. Gandhiji served in the army during the Boer war – he crusaded against violence since the time he realized the horrors of war

Image source



7. Mahatma Gandhi corresponded with a lot of people – Tolstoy, Einstein and Hitler were among the many

Image source


8. Gandhiji was not present during Nehru’s tryst of destiny speech to celebrate independence

Image source

He was in Kolkata fasting for religious harmony.


9. Most relics of Gandhiji including the clothes he wore when he was shot are still preserved in Gandhi Museum, Madurai

Image source


10. He never held an official position in any political body during the final years of his life

Image source


11. He was thinking of dissolving the Congress a day before he died

Image source


12. Steve Jobs was a fan of Mahatma Gandhi – his round glasses are not only similar but also a tribute

Image source



13. Gandhiji had a set of false teeth, which he carried in a fold of his loin cloth

Image source


14. Mahatma Gandhi spoke English with an Irish accent, for one of his first teachers was an Irishman

Image source


15. There are 53 major roads (excluding the smaller ones) in India, and 48 roads outside India that are named after him

Image source


16. Gandhiji helped establish 3 football clubs in Durban, Pretoria and Johannesburg all of which were given the same name: Passive Resisters Soccer Club

Image source

Mahatma Gandhi promoted football in his non-violent campaign against racial discrimination. (Source)

Live as if you were to die tomorrow.” Throughout his life Mahatma Gandhi did things that were inspirational, things that nobody thought he could do and made sure that he lived up to this line said by him.


OCT. 2 … Perfect Day to Start ” Clean India ” Mission…A Fitting Tribute To Mahatma

Mahatma Gandhi, the father of the nation, was not an outspoken leader in his school days. In his The Story of My Experiments with Truth, Gandhi says that he would often run home from school as he could not “bear to talk to anybody.”


Gandhi’s marathon walk from his ashram to the sea at Dandi (241 miles) at the age of 60 during the Salt march in 1930 is well documented. It is believed that he enjoyed long walks in high school. In London, Gandhi as a law student used to walk as many as eight to ten miles a day, which saved him ample money.


During a radio broadcast for the United States from England, Gandhi’s first words heard were, “Do I have to speak into this thing?”


Gandhi was named as the Man of the Year in 1930 by Time Magazine


. Gandhi used to regularly correspond with Russian novelist Leo Tolstoy, whose ideals of nonviolent resistance had a profound impact on the Indian leader.


It is believed that Gandhi’s income as a lawyer in South Africa touched fifteen thousand dollars a year.


In his experiment to live modestly, Gandhi used to experiment on his diets. He started to live on fruits and goat’s milk.


Despite his dislike for photographs, Gandhi was the hugely photographed in those days.


The United Nations announced October 2 as the day of international day of ‘Ahimsa’


Despite studying law in England, Gandhi found it difficult to get a job in India which propelled him to travel to South Africa, where an Indian firm gave him a year-long contract to do legal work


Generations to come, it may well be, will scarce believe that such a man as this

one ever in flesh and blood walked upon this Earth – Albert Einstein